FEC Approves Deployment of 90,000km of Fiber Optic Cable Across Nigeria

Deji Elumoye in Abuja 

The Federal Government on Tuesday approved two critical projects for the digital economy and technology startup ecosystem in the country.

Communication, Innovation and Digital Economy Minister, Dr Bosun Tijani, who made this known on Tuesday stated that the first project has to do with the setting up of a special purpose vehicle, a public-private partnership, to deploy 90,000 kilometers of fiber optic cable across Nigeria.

He explained that this will increase the country’s total fiber optic cable to 125,000 kilometers, making it the third longest terrestrial fiber optic cable in Africa.

Tijani said the project aims to address the current underutilization of Nigeria’s eight submarine cables, which are only being used to about 10%, adding that the deployment of additional fiber optic cables is expected to improve internet quality and reduce prices by about 60%. 

This investment is projected to contribute to a 1.5% growth in Nigeria’s GDP over the next four years.

The project, according to the Minister, also aims to plug the non-consumption gap in connectivity by connecting over 200,000 educational institutes, government offices, and critical infrastructures like hospitals that are currently not connected, saying this will have a significant impact on the digital economy and technology startups in Nigeria.

He disclosed that the second project involves converting the Nigerian property in San Francisco, USA, into a Nigerian startup house, which he said would provide a hub for Nigerian technology startups to access funding and investors in the San Francisco Bay Area and Silicon Valley, which are recognized globally as major sources of startup ecosystem funding. 

Last year, investors in the area invested $1.3 billion into technology startups in Nigeria, and the goal is to increase and improve foreign direct investment (FDI) to technology startups from the region.

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